Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India captain Virat Kohli has played down reports of a rift between him and head coach Anil Kumble.
It had been said that Kohli and a number of players were “intimidated” by Kumble’s coaching style, which was described as being similar to that of a “headmaster”.
However, Kohli made it clear that all these rumours couldn’t be further from the truth.
“There are a lot speculations and lot of things being written by people without actually being part of the change room which is quite strange. There are no problems whatsoever,” Kohli told reporters ahead of India’s Champions Trophy opener against Pakistan on Sunday.
Kumble’s tenure as head coach will come to an end after the Champions Trophy later this month, but he will be reconsidered for the position even though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have invited candidates to apply for the role. Former India opener Virender Sehwag and ex-Australia all-rounder Tom Moody are among those who have put their names forward.
Kumble was appointed as head coach in June last year, and in that time, India have enjoyed a lot of success, especially in their recent season at home, where they beat New Zealand, England and Australia in Test series. They also triumphed over the Black Caps and England in limited overs series.
“It’s been really good. The whole journey has been good,” Kohli said. “Agreements and disagreements happen. I would not comment on things that I am not fully aware of. I would not speculate.
“I think there is lack of patience right now and nobody admits mistakes. If you (media) write something and it goes wrong, have the heart to admit that you have gone wrong rather than saying that problem has been solved.”
When pressed further on the disagreements that have happened, the 28-year-old said: “It’s normal to have disagreements, even at home, not everybody agrees on everything. It’s human nature. When you don’t know about something completely, don’t spread rumours and speculate, just focus on cricket.”
Kohli also refused to go into too much detail about why the BCCI had decided to advertise the head coach position.
“I don’t understand why there is speculation for a process,” he added. “I don’t even know, I don’t want to know. In a tournament which is so much in focus, lot of people like to find rumours before the tournament. They are trying to do their job and get their livelihood, we will focus on our livelihood.
“But one thing that I want to say is that, unless someone is part of something, I don’t think they should sit on judgement or speculate.”
Kohli and his team-mates are considered to be one of the favourites to win the Champions Trophy, especially as they won the last edition of the event in 2013. But, when it comes to life off the field, Kohli admitted that he likes to rest and relax.
“You have to handle stuff when you are thinking,” he said. “When I don’t think, I can carry on with life. I don’t take pressure on me all the time. I never played irresponsibly even when I was not captain. I don’t feel, I have to do something extra to get something as captain.”
In regards to the highly-anticipated clash against Pakistan, Kohli insisted that he treats it the same as any other match.
“I don’t think any other team also puts a price on just one game,” he added. “We take the same mindset to every game that we play for India, the mindset does not change.”